Sondheim from the Side

Jack Isaac Pryor, Stacy Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article is a short introduction to ‘Sondheim from the Side’, the Special Issue on the late influential American composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, which focuses on the reception experience of minoritarian artists and critics to his body of work. Historicizing the impetus for the collection in the wake of Sondheim’s death in November 2021, and citing a number of queer and feminist scholars on the politics of reception – including Rose Rosengard Subotnik, Jane Gallop, Eve Sedgwick, David Román and Carolyn Steedman – this article theorizes the emphasis that the collection places on critically generous, first-person articles that centre rather than occlude the author’s social location and affective experience of various works, and it links this emphasis to methods in the field of performance studies. Borrowing from Special Issue contributor Gabrielle Hoyt and Jewish rituals of mourning, the introduction also frames the collection itself as a kind of prayer, or Kaddish, for the deceased artist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalStudies in Musical Theatre
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Literature and Literary Theory


  • anecdotal theory
  • critical generosity
  • performance studies affect
  • personal essay
  • queer theory
  • reception theory
  • Stephen Sondheim


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